A Sunday Edition Forum: Is Canada working? The search for jobs in the new world of work
Unemployment is a kind of ego death. It is corrosive. It eats away at your self-esteem, your self-confidence, the public face you put to the world....
Unemployment is a kind of ego death. It is corrosive. It eats away at your self-esteem, your self-confidence, the public face you put to the world.
The unreturned phones calls, the never-ending updating the resume, the fruitless interviews, the day after day pain-laden routine of frustration and disappointment.
Experts says there are 202 million unemployed in the world and the figure will get worse.
In Canada, the rate is 7.2 %. In March we lost nearly 55,000 jobs.
Unemployment is especially hard on our young people between the ages of 20 and 29.
In recent times, youth unemployment has reached 15 %.
The Economist magazine estimates that half the world's youth, are outside the wage economy.
The questions and answers are endless; the loss of manufacturing jobs, older workers not stepping aside for the young, outsourcing, globalization, cost cutting by corporations, -phases of the moon, for all we know.
One thing is as clear as mountain water; the era of jobs for life with generous benefits and lasting security is swiftly drawing to a close.
We decided to hold a forum to raise some questions of our own and try to scratch out some prescriptive answers. We didn't attempt to solve the problem but measure its dimensions and impact.
Our forum brings together five people who have spent much of their careers thinking about jobs, and how to tailor an economy to provide the next generation, something of what past generations enjoyed.
Our panelists are:
Wayne Lewchuk is a labour economist and professor of labour studies and economics at McMaster university. He is the co-author of a report called It's more then poverty, which looked at the impact of precarious employment and its impact on individuals and communities. He holds a BA and MA in economics from the University of Toronto and a PHd from Cambridge University. Professor Lewchuk began his work life stacking boxes at a Dominion store.
Angelo Dicaro is a labour market analyst with the Canadian Auto Workers union. He is also the union's liaison with the CAW's younger members. He has a BA from York University and a Master's degree in industrial relations from the University of Toronto.
Lauren Friese is the founder of TalentEgg, a job site for graduates across the country. A former student at the London School of Economics, her expertise is on youth employment. She has been an adviser to business leaders across the country about recruiting.
Jamison Steeve is executive director of Ontario's publicly funded Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity. He is a graduate of Queen's University and holds a law degree from Dalhousie University. He has served as principal secretary to former Ontario PremierDalton McGuinty and as an adviser to several Cabinet ministers.
Laura Penny i s an assistant professor at the University of King's College in Halifax.She teaches contemporary studies at the undergraduate level. She has a PhD in comparative literature from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is currently at work on a book looking at the precarious state of young people and their expectations.